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Efforts to require royalty payments for mining on U.S. public lands keep failing
These Democrats Are Helping Companies Take Gold from Public Lands for Free
By Cody Nelson
Mother Jones, San Francisco
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Amid the recent skirmishes over revising the reconciliation bill, known as the Build Back Better Plan, lawmakers once again skipped a chance to reform the General Mining Law of 1872.
Under this outdated law, hardrock miners can extract profitable minerals such as gold and silver from public lands without having to pay any federal royalties. Though it has been challenged several times over the past few decades, mainly by Democrats, the law has not been significantly updated in the nearly 150 years since its passage.
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Awakening a Sleeping Giant in Ghana: Asante Gold Acquires Past-Producing Bibiani Mine
From Golden Opportunities / Gold Newsletter
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Asante Gold (ASE.CN; ASGOF.OTC) has just acquired a past-producing gold mine in Ghana that boasts near-term production potential and huge upside.
With the move, Executive Director Malik Easah is seeking to repeat his success with Cardinal Resources, another gold company with a Ghana project that he recently sold for A$600 million.
It’s a deal that came like a bolt from the blue.
Just a few weeks ago Asante Gold catapulted itself from a relatively sleepy gold story into a major development-stage company set to breathe new life into Ghana's huge, past-producing Bibiani mine. ...
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In August, a House committee, chaired by Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., tried to modernize the legislation by adding language to the reconciliation bill to establish federal royalties of between 4 percent to 8 percent on these mines. This would have been the most consequential update that the mining law has received in the nearly 15 decades since President Ulysses S. Grant signed it into existence.
However, hardrock royalty reform never even reached a vote thanks to Democratic Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Joe Manchin, D-W.V., who made his personal fortune in coal mining.
Manchin initially signaled support for the royalty provisions in October when he spoke in front of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, stating that he could "never imagine that we don't receive royalties on so many things we produce in this country." But he later reversed course and reportedly promised Cortez Masto that he'd block any mining royalties, effectively killing reform before it even reached the full Senate. On November 4, royalty reform was officially out of both the House and Senate bills.
These senators' actions all but guarantee that the public will continue to miss out on billions of dollars in revenue that could have supported the Build Back Better Plan's priorities, including paid family leave and important climate investments. The bill also would have held companies accountable for cleaning up the abandoned mines that pockmark the West. Instead, mining companies will continue to exploit public land for their own financial gain. ...
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